During a recent seminar I was teaching at a national convention for dog groomer’s, I was reminded how far the pet health care industry has come in such a short time. The group assembled included seasoned business owners, a few “groomers-to-the-stars” and many young groomers embarking on their career. I was there to talk to them about how to add complementary health services to their service menus.
To my surprise and pleasure, I was barraged with questions. How effective is massage therapy? How can I replace the current products in my salon with safer essential oils and green products? What is Reiki and will it help me with my more challenging clients? How do I expose my clients to other health care providers for their pets?
There seems to be no end to the curiosity of those in the animal health care industry or in the demand by pet owners for their services. It is exciting to talk with pet owners today whose dogs have regularly seen the inside of a chiropractor’s office, recovered in the warm waters of a hydrotherapy center and who wouldn’t dream of missing their standing appointment with their massage therapist.
Today’s pet care professional is wise to stay in step with the increasing variety of educational opportunities if they intend to best serve their clients needs. Furthermore, having a wide range of services to offer ensures a better financial forecast and lends variety to each day. Whether your primary goal is to provide hydrotherapy or massage, there are many other additional services you can learn to add diversity and quality to your practice.
At the Northwest School of Animal Massage alone, students can not only take vocational courses in Maintenance Massage, Performance Massage and Rehabilitation Massage; but they can also explore Aromatherapy, Reiki, Acupressure and Nutrition through workshops. In response to requests by our graduates, we have also added a series of Skill Camps designed to foster business practices such as marketing and basic bookkeeping for those in animal-related businesses. There are many other schools offering fun and interactive classes as well. An internet search on animal therapies can put you in touch with a wide range of resources.
For hydro-therapists in particular, training in Reiki and Animal Communication can vastly improve the quality of the work. Classes on canine behavior or seminars on specific conditions can inform on another level and raise the perception of the industry-wide standard of service. Although no current continuing education requirements exist for our profession, the dedication to continued learning is no less a necessary step to successful practice. In the next two issues of this newsletter, we will take a closer look at modalities like these and how they specifically impact massage and hydrotherapy.

Author's Bio: 

Lola Michelin, owner of the Northwest School of Animal Massage, has been a force in the field of animal massage for over 20 years. For more information about Lola and the Northwest School of Animal Massage, visit www.nwsam.com or call toll-free 877.836.3703.